Sorry for the late update – I’ve been super busy with my training, my lab project, and that other stuff… Almost all of which is now DONE!!!!!!!!!!!!! (excessive punctuation was necessary).
Last Sunday (May 25) Rory and I left for Amsterdam. We flew with Easyjet out of Manchester and the entire trip went without a hitch. We rented a flat from a guy on Airbnb and what I’m about to elaborate on is the reason why everyone needs to start using this website especially in Europe. We originally rented a room from this guy but he was away so we got the entire apartment to ourselves. Not only that but the person we were renting the apartment from was a heart surgeon if that gives you an idea of the quality of the space. Not only was it beautiful, but was also in a safe, quiet neighbourhood within walking distance of the city centre.
On our first night, we walked in to the centre and caught some beautiful glimpses of the canals. Amsterdam is a very clean civilized city! We ate at a nice Italian restaurant in the touristy area and then walked back as the sun set. We walked down a realllyyy touristy area on our way back and shopowners were heckling us to eat at their restaurants…. definitely not something I will miss about Europe.
The next day, we set off early with hopes to visit the Anne Frank museum. The line was winding around the block so we decided to wake up earlier the next day to pay it a visit. We got a tram ticket for 48 hours so we could zip around wherever we needed to go. We spent the entire day wandering the streets of Amsterdam, enjoying coffee (real coffee, I promise mom) and the sights of the canals. We wandered through the floating flower market and the cheese shops; I tried all the samples! We tried to look for the red light district but couldn’t really see it anywhere, and we had some really nice chips from one of the stands that was selling it everywhere (just like Belgium!). A highlight of the day was the purchase of some Stroopwaffles from the grocery store – definitely an Amsterdam specialty. Around 5pm it started to pour down rain so we headed home and hung out in our apartment; again an advantage of Airbnb instead of staying in a busy, loud hostel!
On our final day, we woke up early and zipped to the Anne Frank museum by tram. The tram system in Amsterdam is unique and efficient, plus you get to see the city as you travel instead of being underground. The only disadvantage to this kind of transport I think is the fact that you have to keep your eyes peeled when crossing the road because trams stop for nobody. Rory was a bit of a basket case about crossing the road the whole trip, partially because traffic was opposite he was used to as well as the fact that along with trams and cars were THOUSANDS of commuter bikers on the streets.
The Anne Frank museum had a shorter line, and we got in after about 45 minutes. It was such an interesting museum and really makes me want to learn more about the WWII time period. After the Anne Frank museum, we headed into town to find the “I Amsterdam” sign, which was located on the Museumplein. From there we walked to the beautiful Vondelpark then trammed to a lovely marketplace that sold literally anything and made me super excited for the Vancouver nightmarket once I go home. That evening, we went back into town and toured the red light district. I’ll leave that to your imagination but it was definitely like nothing I’ve seen before.
Here are some pictures from our trip!